Ethical Issues in Healthcare of Persons with Developmental Disabilities
This essay by Hans S. Reinders explores the claim that the genetics approach to intellectual disability does not imply a negative evaluation of disabled persons because there is a distinction between the person and the condition.
Discussion of sexuality issues in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities has been neglected by both the general public and professionals for many years. Despite philosophical shifts that have focused on improved community living and quality of life, most people in the field of developmental disabilities have ignored the central issues of sexuality and sexual expression.
Proponents of Quality of Life assessment often link QOL with contentment, a fact that many result in interference of the rights of people with disabilities. Instead, the voices of the client, his or her caregivers, and of society at large need to be listened to and respected.
Making decisions regarding life-sustaining treatments for patients who are severely disabled involves some of the most difficult clinical dilemmas in bioethics. This paper focuses on two aspects of this kind of decision making: 1) accurately determining a mentally disabled patient’s decision-making capacity, and 2) making treatment decisions for patients who have never had or who do not currently have decision-making capacity and have no available surrogate.
The silences are eloquent…
This is an account of how one young man, born with a disability, took control over his own health care decision making.